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Questions tagged [commentaries]

Questions related to Jewish commentaries, their meaning and their origin.

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Won’t let go unless you bless me

In the moment Yaakov is wrestling a adversary he says: ‘לא אשלחך כי אם ברכתני’, I wondered if there are any commentaries which reads this differently. I noticed that Rabbi Hirsch connects the root ...
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The fear and anxiety of Yaakov before meeting Eisav

Bereshit 32:8: "וַיִּירָא יַעֲקֹב מְאֹד וַיֵּצֶר לוֹ וַיַּחַץ אֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ וְאֶת־הַצֹּאן וְאֶת־הַבָּקָר וְהַגְּמַלִּים לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת׃" "Jacob was greatly frightened; in his ...
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What does Judaism say about the Original sin?

DISCLAIMER: I am not Jewish nor am I a follower of Judaism. I have read the Torah, prophets and writings with Rashi commentary, also have read some of the Midrash, and read/watch some of today's ...
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Why is Yaakov’s name changed twice?

In the parasha of Vayishlach Yaakov’s name is changed twice. Both times his new name is Yisrael. He is morphed twice from the ‘One Who Grasps Ankles’ to ‘the One Who Wrestles with G-d.’ The first time ...
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Talking with/against the dead [duplicate]

If a beloved one has passed away, is it allowed or prohibited to talk against this soul? For example is it allowed to say goodbey, or to say you will mis him/her? I know there is a prohibition against ...
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New heaven and earth?

Yeshayahu 65:17 (66:22): "כִּי־הִנְנִי בוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם חֲדָשִׁים וָאָרֶץ חֲדָשָׁה וְלֹא תִזָּכַרְנָה הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת וְלֹא תַעֲלֶינָה עַל־לֵב׃ " writes about a new heaven and earth. Although I’m not ...
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The size of Moses' שֵׁבֶט or מַטֶּה?

What was the size of Moses' שֵׁבֶט or מַטֶּה? Where can one read a rabbinic statement about the difference in size or what is usually the size or dimension of either one of these, which is usually ...
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מלא יד - full hand, meaning?

I've a question about the combination of words מלא יד as shown in verses like Shemot 29:35, 32:29, Vayikra 8:33, Bamidbar 3:3, 1 Divrei HaYamim 29:5, 2 Divrei HaYamim 6:4, 6:15, 13:9, 29:31 etc... ...
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Any connection between Isaiah 40:3 and the story of Ya'akov's name changed to Yisrael?

Regards the name changing from Ya'akov to Yisrael the Kli Yakar states that the name Yisrael comes from the word Yashar El, to be straight with G-d. This transformation is compared to Yeshayahu 40:4 '...
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Yom HaKaseh - Rosh HaShanah

Is it true that Rosh HaShanah is also called Yom HaKeseh, meaning “The Day of the Hiding” or “the Hidden Day.” I noticed that it’s called this way because of Tehillim 81. Is it true it’s also called ...
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Passing thru the covenant as idolaters do?

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Pasuk (Devorim 29,11): "לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית ה"א וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר ה"א כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃" to enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, ...
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Grouping of women in the beginning of Parashat Nitzavim

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Psukim (Devarim 29,9), grouping the Jewish Nation into two parts: "אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה"א רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם ...
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With what and why did Ya’akov struggle?

Many times I came across teachings which stated that Ya’akov Avinu wrestled (struggled) with what could be described as something representative of Esav (I.e. Edom, Adam); of which it is said it was ...
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Angel helping to find a proper wife?

At one point in time Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to go out and search a wife for his son. In Bereshit 24:7 Avraham tells him that HaShem will send His messenger (malach) before him.. Eliezer ...
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How to define the Malach Panav from the book of Isaiah?

In Yeshayahu 63:9 there’s a mention of a ‘malach panav (מַלְאַךְ פָּנָיו)’, why is this malach refered to in this kind of way; why this specific entitlement; what does the combination of the words ...
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Judges Chapter 9 and Aesop's Fable

In the book of Judges 9:8-15 we have the following fable: 8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree: Reign thou over us. 9 But the olive-...
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Malach HaShem, Malach HaElohim and the way it presents itself

I’ve a question about Shemot 14:19 in which the malach ha’elohiem (מלאך האלהים) is mentioned. This verse explicitly says that this messenger who went before the camp, removed and went behind them ...
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What do the words 'Hinei Makom Iti' mean if Makom is also a title for G-d?

In Shemot 33:21 HaShem utters the words: 'הִנֵּה מָקוֹם אִתִּי'. I noticed HaShem uses the word 'makom', which reminded me of another teaching in which the word Makom is considered to be some sort of ...
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The meaning of ירך

I’m unclear as to the meaning of the word ירך that appears in Vayishlach, in 32:25. What’s the precise meaning of ירך often translated as hip, thigh, loin, gird etc. Which body part, bone or muscle is ...
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Source that the word לשמי hints to the changing of Yaakov's name to Yisrael

In Genesis 32:30 after Ya’akov want’s to know the name of which he is wrestling with, the question is asked why he wants to know it’s name: (למה זה תשאל לשמי), I can’t find its source but I heard ...
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Wrestling HaSatan

I know there are many explanations on who Ya’akov wrestled with. But I came across an explanation teaching it was HaSatan he wrestled with. Hoped someone could give me the sources or explanations ...
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To pass אעביר (Exo 33:19), what does it mean?

Exodus 33:19 reads: " אני אעביר כל־טובי על־פניך ", I know it's often translated somewhat like this: "I will make all My goodness pass before thee (before thy face)", but I noticed it's root ע - ב - ר ...
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Why is the format for referencing Rambam backwards?

The Rambam is usually reference in the following way: פרק א׳ מהלכות ק״ש הלכה ט׳ - chapter 1 from from hilchos kerias shma, halacha 9. Why is it referenced this way? Why not the way many ...
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Swear by His Name, what the real meaning of this command?

Could someone explain to me the meaning of the phrase: וּבִשְׁמוֹ, תִּשָּׁבֵעַ in Devarim 6:13? It seems to be the positive command of the prohebition mentioned in Vayikra 19:12... I know that the ...
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Why in the V'ahavta does U'vShacbacha (when you lie down) come before U'vkumecha (when you rise up)?

The order would be more logical if it was when you rise up comes before when you lie down. What do the mfarshim say about this?
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What is special in “2000 ama” that it have the unique note [duplicate]

What is special in the words "2000 ama" in the verce numbers 35.5 that is has a conitasinal note that is unique in thw chumash (only found once) Onther places in the bible that it is found (במדבר לה ...
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Choshech, Anan v'Araphel? What does this mean?

I have a question regards Devarim 4:11 which in Hebrew reads: "עַד-לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם חֹשֶׁךְ, עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל". Transliteration reads the words 'choshech, anan and araphel'. It seems to me that there ...
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Have any Jewish commentaries been written on the Septuagint?

While a number of Jewish commentaries have been written on Targum Onkelos, Targum Yonasan, Targum Pseudo-Yonasan, and Targum Yerushalmi (see the list in the Targum section at Parshablog, for example), ...
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You shall not have any other gods

In Exodus 20:3 the words lo yihyeh ( לֹא יִהְיֶה־לְךָ) are often translated as: 'you shall not have'. The base word is היה (hayah) meaning "to exist." Which reminded me of the Adon Olam phrase: 'V'hu ...
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Did Aaron have daughters?

We are reading this Shabat parshat Pinchas. In this parsha the Torah mentioned the daughters of Tzelofchad as follows: וצלפחד בן חפר לא היו לו בנים כי אם בנות ושם בנות צלפחד מחלה ונעה חגלה מלכה ...
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Hang up people to cause the anger of the Lord to turn

Could someone explain to me how the anger of the Lord is turned by hanging people in view for all to watch? Numbers 25:4 (Mechon-mamre translation): "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them ...
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1answer
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Nehushtan destroyed

Could someone explain to me why we read in Melachim II 2:18 that the brass serpent that Moses had made had been kept al this time? And how or why did the people became to honor it; for until that ...
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1answer
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Serpants (snakes) or Seraphim (heavenly beings of some sort)?

I read different questions on this matter from 'mi yodeya' but I couldn't find my answer: In Numbers 21:6 HaShem brings הנְּחָשִׁים הַשְּׂרָפִים upon the people... In Numbers 21:8 HaShem commands ...
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The encampment around the Tabernacle: What did it look like?

Based on Bamidbar/Numbers 2:2 the Israelites had to pitch their tents by tribe around the Ohel Mo'ed/Mishkan. But what I would like to know is How it would look from above? What shape would it be (...
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The fourth generation Numbers 23:10

Numbers/Bamidbar 23:10 reads: et roba Yisrael - אֶת־רֹבַע יִשְׂרָאֵל I noticed roba is connected with ribea רִבֵּעַ meaning great-grandson, but refers to the fourth generation. The previous words ...
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The phase between death and resurrection comparable to sleeping?

Tehillim 13:4 talks about the the sleep of death (אִישַׁן הַמָּוֶת), Yeshayahu 26:19 reads something like my dead bodies shall arise--awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust (הָקִיצוּ), Daniel 12:2 ...
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How is Teruah connected to friendship and closeness

I came across this article from which I would like to quote something: The concept of Malchuso b'khal adaso allows Bnei Yisroel to transform the teruah from a destructive sound of war into a sound ...
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Why did HaShem allowed Yeshayahu to serve naked?

Maybe I misunderstood the verse, but Yeshayahu 20:3 teach us that Yeshayahu was a servant and walked naked and barefoot for three years. Why would HaShem allow him to do so? While Adam and Eve had to ...
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Bil’am cursing terminology - א.ר.ר, ק.ב.ב and ק.ל.ל

Within the story of Balak and Bil’am I noticed a shift in words for curse and cursing. In Numbers 22:6 Balak asks Bil’am to curse him the Israelites ארה-לי, of which the root seems to be ארר. Numbers ...
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Ezekiel 37:27-28 My Mishkan v.s. My Mikdash

Ezekiel 37:27-28 reads something like: My dwelling-place also shall be over them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD that sanctify ...
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67 views

What is the best translation of the Tanakh with commentary? [closed]

I am looking for a good translation of the Tanakh with commentary.
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Mikdash, Mishkan, Ohel

First: What's the definition of the term Mikdash? I noticed that the Kehatim, where bearers of the 'Mikdash', "they shall bear", where it is in fact the Ark of the Covenant that is referred to as the '...
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3answers
107 views

Mishnah Berurah style commentary on the rest of Shulchan Aruch

a little background— Chofetz Chaim wrote the Mishnah Berurah in a novel way, that one could learn his commentary and not need to read many others. He however kept the original text of the Shulchan ...
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Facing the Tent of Meeting from the tents of the people?

Balaam saw that the tent openings of the Israelites do not face each other; rather each opening was behind the next one, so that no one would look in the house of his friend. (BT Bava Batra 60a) I ...
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1answer
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Remember Balak and Balaam

My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised (plotted against you) and what (how) Balaam the son of Beor answered (responded to) him; from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know (will ...
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2answers
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Mah Tovu comparison within the verse

Bamidbar/Numbers 24:5 contains the famous verse which is also recited in the Mah Tovu prayer: How goodly are thy tents, O Ya'akov, thy dwellings, O Yisrael - מַה-טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ, יַעֲקֹב; ...
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31 views

Heaven is also a place among us?

The Targum Yonathan on Isaiah 6:3 teaches that "the most exalted heaven is the dwelling place of His Presence". Likewise Isaiah 66:1 teaches that heaven is His throne. But then I came acrosse these ...
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29 views

Malchut Shamyim working through us?

I learned that "Kabalat Ol Malchut Shamayim"--acceptance of the "yoke" of heaven (accepting the Heavenly Kingdom)--is refering to G-ds rule/reign and thus means 'accepting the the Authority of Heaven'....
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2answers
37 views

Warlike qualities of HaShem?

Exodus 15:3 The LORD, the Warrior - LORD is His name! (NJPS) Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war, The LORD is His name (OJPS). I came across a note in "The commentators bible, the JPS miqra'ot ...
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51 views

What is the most effective way to translate non-Hebrew translations found in Rabbinic literature?

Non-Hebrew translations are often included by our Sages when attempting to clarify words or concepts. There are myriad examples in RaSh"I (Shemot 5:7) and Hizquni (Wayiqra 11:16). For relatively ...